The Port of Tacoma continues to face productivity issues as informed on Wednesday, November 5 by the port officials.
The container port, located in Tacoma, Washington, handles between about 9 and 13 million tons of cargo on annual basis.
The slowdown in productivity has been attributed to the ongoing labour talks between the long-shore workers and dock employers.
“While these productivity issues appear to be associated with West Coast-wide discussions, we recognize how important port-related jobs are to our region. Like you, we hope these issues will be resolved quickly,” the port said in an update.
As a result, the port’s terminals issued notices to their clients on the ongoing situation so as to prevent further bottlenecks.
Olympic Container Terminal at Tacoma said that due to operational constraints, OCT will be suspending the receiving of export cargoes for future vessels until further notice, the exception being live reefers.
The port’s Pierce County Terminal informed that the terminal will not be accepting any export loads or dry empty returns for gate operations until further notice.
However, according to PCT, the gate is open for delivering imports, dispatching and accepting empty reefers, and dispatching empty dry equipment.
“PCT is accepting dry empty returns at the in-gate for Hapag Lloyd, Hamburg Sud, and US Lines.
Empty reefers can currently be returned through the transfer zone rather than the reefer dispatch pile,” the terminal authorities informed.
Washington United Terminals also issued a notice for its clients asking for understanding as the operations were expected to be slower than usual.
The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), which represents over 70 multinational ocean carriers and maritime companies in contract negotiations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), has accused the ILWU of orchestrating slowdowns at the Pacific Northwest ports of Seattle and Tacoma.
The ILWU refuted the accusations saying that no deal was ever made on keeping normal operations at West Coast ports until an agreement could be reached.
The two ports, Tacoma and Seattle, handle an estimated 16% of containerized cargo on the West Coast.
World Maritime News Staff; Image: City of Tacoma